By Lois Potter (auth.)
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Extra resources for Twelfth Night
For the Berkeley production, I have drawn on the notes which I took at the time. Where no source is given for a statement in this section, I am drawing either on my own recollections or on those of others to whom I have talked . An experienced amateur actor who has played Sir Andrew Aguecheek told me about the audience reaction to his line 'I was adored once too' [II iii 174]. If he and Sir Toby were on good form, he said, it usually got two laughs. There was an immediate one, a response to the 'running gag' of Andrew's eagerness to agree with everything said by Sir Toby.
It has become customary in modern productions to emphasise the isolation of Antonio, like his counterpart in The Merchant of Venice, from final happiness. In Barton's production, he went off in a different direction from the two couples at the end. In the context of a frankly erotic world like that of Gill's production, his reactions were a particularly important part of the final scene. During Viola's brief account of herself to Sebastian (she took off her sword and handed it to Curio), Antonio turned to look out front.
In production, then, the text can be made richer than the reader ever thought - or it can go for nothing. No one can write much about Twelfth Night without stressing the complexity offeeling inherent in its plot-love is both sweet and painful, most jokes contain an element of cruelty, one person's success is another person's failure - and in the poetry and music which make up its atmosphere. Most directors recognise the need to do justice to this complexity, but, from the original casting to the final rehearsal, every choice that is made is going to tip the balance.
Twelfth Night by Lois Potter (auth.)